Motherhood, am I doing it all wrong?

Motherhood, am I doing it all wrong?

Being a parent is the hardest job ever. Fact. It is a role we are thrown into with zero experience, straight into the deep end and expected to just get on with it. There are lots of books on parenting available but with so much conflicting advice and with every child being completely different, it can be so hard to know what to do for the best. As a mum I am always questioning what I do and if I am raising Leo to the best of my ability, most of the time I think I’m doing ok but things like mum guilt and other peoples opinions can cause serious blows to my confidence. Some days all I can think is that I am doing it all wrong, did I miss the memo on how to be the perfect mum? Some days I feel like everyone else is smoothly sailing through their parenting journey while I frantically try and keep my head above the water. View Post

The Daddy Tag

The Daddy Tag

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will probably know all about me by now. I talk about myself as a blogger, the day to day me, my thoughts, my feelings and, of course, I talk about myself as a mother a lot too. I do chat about my husband Oli quite a bit on here too but my blog is mine, my space, so you can’t blame me for banging on about myself a lot of the time, can you? So when Stef from Blabber Mama nominated Oli to take part in The Daddy Tag, I managed to coax him into the blogging hot seat so you can all find out a bit more about my lovely husband and Leo’s fabulous Daddy.  You have all heard of the Mummy tag, right? Well the amazing Frenchie Mummy has decided to mix things up a bit and has created The Daddy Tag, it’s fun and a great way to find out about the all Dads out there. That’s enough rambling from me, it is now time for Oli to take centre stage. Enjoy.

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The day my toddler saved me

The day my toddler saved me

Ok, I understand that title sounds a bit dramatic so let me clarify a few things before we continue. This post is not about a near death experience nor is it about how having a baby saved me from a life I was unhappy with or anything like that. This post is about how, last week, Leo rescued me from the shower and saved me from having a full on panic attack/meltdown. Now that’s cleared up, let me tell you all about my little hero. View Post

Kidloland children’s app – Review and giveaway

Kidloland children’s app – Review and giveaway

Being nearly 3, Leo is at an age now where his brain is like a little sponge. He is absorbing new information all the time and learning new skills pretty much every day. At the minute Leo enjoys reciting the alphabet and trying to count past 10 and, as his Mummy, I love to see him learning and I try to help and encourage him in any way I can. When Kidloland, a nursery rhyme educational app for preschoolers, got in touch I couldn’t wait to see how this app could help with Leo’s learning and development. View Post

5 easy ways to enjoy me time at home

5 easy ways to enjoy me time at home

Ahh the elusive ‘me time’, something all us parents crave but rarely get the opportunity to enjoy. Being a mum to an almost 3 year old I am always searching for a spare 5 (or 10) minutes I can grab for myself, away from the toddler chaos and all the other demands of the stay at home parent life.

In reality, I feel like I need more than 10 minutes. I feel like a whole week at a spa retreat, doing yoga and having daily massages would just about give me the energy boost I seriously need after 3 years of parenting. Unfortunately, with a family and house to look after and with barely enough money to fund a weekend of camping in a field, a week at a spa just isn’t feasible right now.

If you are in the same situation as me then fear not, yes a week of relaxing bliss may be out of the question but there are still ways you can grab some precious me time at home. Here are some examples of how you can unwind and relax after a hectic day of changing nappies, chasing toddlers around, washing 50 loads of clothes, cleaning the floor under the high chair, toddler group hell..do I need to go on? View Post

#WickedWednesdays – Why a long shower is never a good idea

#WickedWednesdays – Why a long shower is never a good idea

So the other day I decided to throw caution to the wind and swap my usual 5 minute shower for a longer, more refreshing and relaxing affair. I knew there would be serious consequences to this decision, one does not simply have a long shower when there is a toddler loose in the house. View Post

Birthday gifts my 3 year old really wants

Birthday gifts my 3 year old really wants

I am not sure how this is happening but my baby boy is turning three next month. THREE! I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. On the one hand it feels like no time has passed since I first set eyes on him, floating about in the birthing pool looking so peaceful and beautiful but then at the same time it feels like he has always been a part of my life. Birthdays bring with them lots of memories and sentimentality but it can also be a bit of a stressful time. Choosing birthday gifts for anyone can be difficult but when it comes to buying a present for your little ones there is always a bit of added pressure as you want to make sure you get them something they will really love. When shopping for Leo’s birthday gifts I always try and get something he will actually play with, something that will last more than a week and ideally I like to get a good deal on the price too.  View Post

Could my second pregnancy be turning me into a bad Mum?

Could my second pregnancy be turning me into a bad Mum?

Being pregnant the second time around is so much harder than I ever expected it would be. I am, of course, over the moon that we are having another baby and that Leo is going to be a big brother, there are just times when I feel a bit overwhelmed. The fact that in a few short months a newborn will be joining our family and things are going to change (big time!) really does stress me out sometimes. Things are already starting to change now and baby hasn’t even arrived yet. Being pregnant and having a very energetic two year old don’t really work together harmoniously, there have been times in the last 23weeks where I have worried that my second pregnancy is turning me in to a bad Mum. View Post

Is it the terrible twos or is he just naughty?

Is it the terrible twos or is he just naughty?

Any parent out there will know what the terrible twos are, right? Oh you know, it’s that phrase used to describe the idea that when your child wakes up on their 2nd birthday they suddenly become a complete nightmare and will throw tantrums and act like a demon until they turn three and suddenly they become little darlings again. Many parents will agree with me when I say this, what a load of crap! The terrible twos can start way before your child hits 24 months and can, unfortunately, last way longer than just a year. I have written about my experiences of tantrums before and how I really struggle to cope when Leo’s being naughty. Leo is approaching 3 and his bad behaviour shows no sign of slipping away, if anything, it’s getting worse. I am starting to wonder if his behaviour is not just a result of the dreaded terrible twos, what if it is something more? What if my boy is just, well, naughty? View Post

Club Hub – The new app all parents need

Club Hub – The new app all parents need

In July, a brand new phone app is being released in the UK and, if you are a parent, you are definitely going to want this on your smart phone. Club Hub is an app that helps parents find groups and activities that are going on in their local area and, if you run a group, it is a great way to advertise your business too.

Ever since moving to Hampshire I have struggled to find groups for Leo and I to join. I go to a couple of parent and toddler groups and I even brave a weekly bouncy castle hour with Leo at our local leisure centre but I can’t help but think there must be more going on? View Post

Why parenting would be easier if I was the Mother of Dragons

Why parenting would be easier if I was the Mother of Dragons

The brand new seires of Game of Thrones starts on Monday and it is safe to say that  I am more than a bit excited. Although I am still reeling from the end of series 5, #forthewatch #heartbroken, I can’t wait to see what this series has in store. My favourite thing about Game of Thrones is not the violence, the sex or the creepy White Walkers, it is following all the different characters and their messed up little lives. Most of my favourites have now fallen victim to the cruel writing of George R R Martin and been brutally killed off (sob) but one person who is still going strong is the woman of too many names to list, Daenerys Targaryen.

As I watch Daenerys conquer city after city I can’t help but think motherhood would be a lot easier if I was the Mother of Dragons. Confused? Let me explain.. View Post

Stress free potty training – a tried and tested guide

Stress free potty training – a tried and tested guide

Potty training, it is something all us parents dread isn’t it? The excitement of not having to dish out the big bucks on nappies is overshadowed by the fear of having to clean wee stains off the sofa and scraping poo from the lovely white carpets. As soon as your little one starts showing those all important signs that they are ready to ditch the nappies, it is the time to psych yourself up and get into the potty training, super mum zone. View Post

3 parenting skills I am yet to master

It has been 2 years and 6 months since I first began my journey through this crazy thing called motherhood. There are some days where I feel like I am totally nailing this mum gig, days where I feel like being a Mum is what I was put on this planet to do. There are also the bad days though. The days where nothing is going right, the tears won’t stop and the tantrums are relentless. Those awful days that make me feel like a complete and utter failure and not worthy of the prestigious title that is ‘Mummy’.

However, the good days definitely outweigh the bad and most of the time I feel like I have got this motherhood thing under control. There are still some parenting skills I am yet to master though. Things I have been doing for the past 30 months that I should probably be an expert at by now and yet, I continue to perform these basic parenting tasks as though it is my first day on the job.
Here are 3 parenting skills I am yet to master, let me know if you are a bit pants when it comes to these things too!
1. Changing a nappy – If I had to guess I would say I have had to change over a thousand nappies since becoming a Mum. Babies are just poo machines and things don’t get much better once they hit toddlerhood. It takes me ages to change Leo’s nappy, easily twice as long as it should. If he has pooed it can take me a good 10 minutes to sort out the chaos down there, surely by now I should be able to change a dirty nappy in under a minute, eyes closed and one arm tied behind my back?

2. Manoeuvring the pram – I hate Leo’s pram with a passion. It is so big and bulky and just impossible to manoeuvre efficiently. It still takes me ages to get it in and out of the car and as for getting it through a pull door? Well that continues to remain one of life’s most difficult challenges. I just don’t understand how you can do it without someone helping? At least with a push door you can go out backwards. 

3. Getting baby to nap – Despite my blog name, nap time does not come easily in this house. Leo makes me work hard for my one hours peace a day. I have to either take him for a walk in the pram for half an hour or drive around in circles until he nods off. When he was a baby I would spend hours nursing him in my arms, bobbing him up and down in his bouncy chair or rocking his car seat. There has never been any of this self settling for a nap business and, now he’s 2 and a half, I doubt there ever will be.
There you have it, 3 basic parenting skills I am yet to master. There are definitely more mummy tasks that I am not perfect at but I cant wing it through most of those. These 3 though, these get me every single time. I look forward to the day when Leo is toilet trained and will walk happily for hours so I can chuck those nightmare nappies and that stupid pram in the bin. I won’t be so happy to say goodbye to the naps though…
Do you struggle with any of these parenting skills too? Is there anything else you would add to the list? I am hoping I am not the only Mum out these who has trouble doing all of these.

This post is linked to

My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy

Mummuddlingthrough

Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky
My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
Pink Pear Bear
Reflections From Me

First day of play school

Leo started play school today. I can’t believe the time has come for my baby boy to fly the nest. Well, not really, but that’s how it feels! Oli and I have been debating the idea of Leo starting play school for a few months now and as he is now two and half, we decided now is as good a time as any. Leo has been asking to go to school for quite a while, he has older cousins who go and every time we stroll past the local primary school he always asks excitedly if he can go in.

So last week I visited a few different play schools, sent out some emails and studied several different websites for local groups. After 2 visits I decided the one just a 5 minute walk from our house seemed the nicest and definitely the most convenient. Leo really liked it there and after out visits he was asking when he could go back again, I am pretty sure we have definitely found the one.
This morning went really well. There were a few moments when I thought Leo was going to go off the idea of play school when I told him I couldn’t stay with him but he soon got over it. Getting out of the house for 8.50 was a bit of a struggle as we are normally still in our pjs until gone 9 but we did. 
Ready to go!
I dropped Leo off and after a quick chat with the staff, I said bye to Leo who didn’t so much as bat an eyelid after discovering all the toys at his disposal and the deputy manager basically told me to go home and not to worry, she would ring if they needed me.
So, I walked out of the play school with a strange new sense of freedom this morning, slightly over shadowed by the sad realisation that my baby boy is growing up. It was an odd feeling. For the past two and half years Leo and I have spent pretty much every single day together. He has never been to nursery and never been left with a child minder. He has had the odd sleepover at his grandparent’s house but he has never been left with people he doesn’t know. I think this is something that bothers me more than him as he happily said hello to all his ‘teachers’ this morning. I just worry what will happen if he has a tantrum or suddenly realises I’m not there? He has been gone for 2 hours already and I have had no phone calls so I am taking that as a good sign and that all is well.
You may be wondering what I have been doing with my new found freedom? Well, I have done 20 minutes on the exercise bike, caught up on Sports Relief Bake Off (no idea how I managed to miss this when it was on live!), hoovered, cleaned and had a shower with a duration 3 times that of a normal day. It is surprising how quick the time has gone actually. There is so much I could be doing with these 3 hours all to myself a week. I could write and schedule all my blog posts for the week, go swimming, do the food shop, clean the whole house or maybe go for a browse around the shops without having the squeeze a buggy in and out all the aisles.
If I am honest, I am enjoying a bit of me time but I keep thinking about Leo. I can’t stop wondering how he’s getting on, if he is ok without me or if he has been behaving or not. I am sure as the weeks go on and we both get settled in to this new routine my Thursday mornings alone will feel a lot more relaxed and not so tense! 
Deep down I know he is fine. The play school is over flowing with exciting new toys to play with, crafts to make, books to read and children to play with. My boy is not shy at all so I am sure he is in his element. The house is weirdly quiet without him, I can’t wait for 12 o clock so I can pick him up and he can tell me all about his morning. Hopefully I will be greeted with a lovely big hug and smiles from Leo and words of positivity and praise from the staff, fingers crossed.
Only 45 minutes to go!
Does your little one go to play school or any other childcare? How did you feel that first morning without them? What do you do when you have a few hours to yourself?
This post is linked to..

A Cornish Mum
My Random Musings

Mummuddlingthrough

Diary of an Imperfect Mum: Family Fun Linky

3 reasons the 1 2 3 warning doesn’t work for me

Like most other children his age, Leo loves a tantrum. If we can get through the day and he only has two meltdowns then I consider that to be a very, very good day.

Sometimes Leo breaks down over silly little things like snapping a biscuit in half or a crayon not being the right colour. These tantrums I can cope with. I can’t cope with Leo’s deliberate bad behaviour though. Most of the time Leo is as good as gold and an absolute joy but, being 2, disobedience and naughtiness are kind or part of the territory. There have been so many occasions where Leo has gone to do something he is not allowed to do, I have said ‘no’ and he has done it anyway, while giving me a mischievous grin.
Parenting books, the ever knowledgeable Super Nanny and family and friends all offer advice on how to deal with bad behaviour and discipline (hate that word!) your toddler. Recently, Oli and I have been attempting the 1-2-3 approach. Giving Leo a simple 3 second warning to stop whatever he is doing/thinking of doing. The idea is, you start counting, child takes it as a warning and stops. Yeaa, that doesn’t happen with Leo. Ever.
There are 3 reasons why the 1 2 3 warning doesn’t work for me..
1. It becomes a counting game – I say ‘1’ and Leo responds ‘Is it 10?’ or ‘2 mummy!’. It kind of takes the seriousness away from the warning if Leo decides to make it a game.

2. It becomes a countdown to naughtiness – I start counting and Leo shouts ‘1,2,3,4,5!’ as fast as he can and then throws his plate on the floor or continues to try and hit the cat.

3. I don’t know what happens after 3 – The main problem with this method, it’s fatal flaw if you will, is I don’t know what I am supposed to do when I get to 3. The few times I have managed to make it to 3 without any of the above happening, Leo and I are left staring blankly at each other. If he stops then is that it? Have I succeeded and nothing happens after 3? What if he carries on being naughty and I have finished counting, what happens then? 
This method is not as simple as it sounds. It most certainly isn’t as easy as 1-2-3!
Do you use the 1 2 3 warning with your kids? Does it work for you? If you have any advice for me on how to deal with a naughty toddler please share in the comments, I will be forever grateful.
This post is linked to..

A Cornish Mum
My Random Musings

Cuddle Fairy

Mummuddlingthrough